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Interview Advice "why do you want to join the military"

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Old 12-11-2012, 06:30 PM   #1
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Interview Advice "why do you want to join the military"

currently i am 17 and a high school senior but i want to and plan on going to the air force academy or west point/naval (whichever one accepts me if i dont make AF).

i want to ask what other peoples reasons were for joining the military. i have my nomination interview on saturday with a board of veterans i believe who will decide whether or not my local congressman will sponsor me. i am concerned that when they ask me the "why do i want to join the military" my answer will not be personal or specific enough.

what was it that made you know you wanted to join? all i know is that i want to do something that most people dont get to do, which is serve their country and be doing something badass while they do it. in my case i want to go for a pilot slot.

thanks in advance everybody
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Old 12-11-2012, 06:33 PM   #2
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Never done military time myself, but its all different for people.

Some people just want to help the country, some people do it for the chicks who dig uniforms, some do it for school (military helps, if not pays for all schooling)..its all about you, why you want to do it.
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Old 12-11-2012, 06:52 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildjerseyfirefighter View Post
Never done military time myself, but its all different for people.

Some people just want to help the country, some people do it for the chicks who dig uniforms, some do it for school (military helps, if not pays for all schooling)..its all about you, why you want to do it.
thanks i think people in the military and law enforcement/fire dept. all sort of have a certain level of dedication to their community/country

i just found it a little embarrassing since i have been asked a few times why i want to join but wasnt able to come up with what other people thought of as "reasons"
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Old 12-11-2012, 06:55 PM   #4
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"It's not important why you decided to serve, rather that you decided". I heard that from CMSgt during a PME session and it stuck.

With that being said... I joined because I was married with a kid and didn't want to spend the next 40 years in a tire retread plant. The job security, educational opportunities and deployments of the Air Force (job specific) appealed to me. The health care came into major play last year when my Wife was diagnosed with MS and during an MRI it was also discovered she had a thyroid nodule (later cancer). The surgeries / treatment she's had to have and subsequent treatment she'll require for the rest of her life would have broke us easily financially. I've also lived in on-Base / on-Post housing since I've been in. There are some setbacks (crazy neighbors) but it's a nice option to have (depending on availability) especially when your an E-1 w/ dependents, again from experience. I've been in 8 years and can say that it's been a positive experience for me but more importantly for my family and I look forward to making it a career. I won't advocate a branch because what's good for one isn't good for all, research, talk to current members (if able) know what you want and try not to settle for anything else. Good luck and I wish you the best in whatever it is you decide to do.
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Old 12-11-2012, 06:56 PM   #5
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I joined because I wanted to follow the footsteps of my brother, father, grandfather and uncles. They all told stories of their experiences and how proud they felt to serve to protect our freedom. I felt it was an honor to be able to volunteer. I do not regret that decision at all and would make the same choice all over again.

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Old 12-11-2012, 07:04 PM   #6
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Let me ask you a couple questions - perhaps they'll clarify your thinking. You don't have to post up the answers here.

1. Why do you want to join the military? (Your own reason, not what you think they want to hear.)

2. Now, why do you want to serve by going to the Acadamy?

3. What is it about serving via the acadamy that you can't do by e.g. joining via ROTC?

4. I notice your first choice is Air Force. But you'd rather serve by going to joining the Army via West Point or the Navy via Annapolis than becoming an Air Force officer by way of ROTC. Why is that?

Again - no need to the post answers up here. But perhaps these questions will help you better understand your own thinking and motivation.
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Old 12-11-2012, 07:32 PM   #7
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thanks everybody for the previous posts. it is nice to see people tune in with their experiences.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bjmoose View Post
Let me ask you a couple questions - perhaps they'll clarify your thinking. You don't have to post up the answers here.

1. Why do you want to join the military? (Your own reason, not what you think they want to hear.)

2. Now, why do you want to serve by going to the Acadamy?

3. What is it about serving via the acadamy that you can't do by e.g. joining via ROTC?

4. I notice your first choice is Air Force. But you'd rather serve by going to joining the Army via West Point or the Navy via Annapolis than becoming an Air Force officer by way of ROTC. Why is that?

Again - no need to the post answers up here. But perhaps these questions will help you better understand your own thinking and motivation.
1. i want to do something that i can be proud of, as well as my family. i want to participate in something greater than what most people in my little suburbia take part in. I want to receive a second to none education, job security and benefits that i will be able to take advantage of later on in life. I want to serve my country as a pilot. want to fly the f22. i mostly want to go to the academy/get a degree and become an officer so after i serve i will be able to get another great job that deals with the field i had been working in. my old neighbor left the navy after being a pilot and got a job designing weapon systems. not a solid reason, but reasons.

2. i dont necessarily want to serve by going to the academy. my goal is to go to the air force academy, west point or naval whichever one i can be lucky enough to make it into and graduate as an officer then serve for a good portion of my life i imagine myself staying in for 20 years but i cant say for sure until the time comes. other people who have wives and kids have told me the time you stay in depends on them. a naval academy graduate and 10 year vet explained to me that he left after those 10 because he had a newborn and wife at home

3. i am still applying for rotc scholarships but i think there is a certain experience to be had at the military academies that not many are fortunate enough to have. i also think graduating from a Military Academy would be very prestigious

4. again the air force academy is my 1st choice only because i want to fly but also because in the future all of the vets i have talked to have said that air force guys get the best living conditions, bases, and deployments arent as bad when you come to have a family. for the intial portion of my career i dont care if im in germany or kadina, japan. i just want to fly, but when i do have a wife and kids i will be glad to be able to come home to them like some pilots in the af do. if i dont get into the air force academy and make it into west point i will go into intelligence or maybe challenge myself to go to ranger school and see what im really made of. different outcomes for whatever happens to me but i know i will be happy with the structure of military life
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Old 12-11-2012, 07:42 PM   #8
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OK. Now, I can't critique your reasons. They're *yours* after all, not mine or anyone else's.

But one thing I notice is missing is the other side of the street. You talk mostly about how this path will benefit *you.* You don't talk much about how hopes and aspirations for serving the nation, or whatever branch you're considering. That is, the "service" aspect of your motivations. You may want to examine your motivations there and add the results of your introspections to your answers.

good luck.
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Old 12-11-2012, 07:49 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bjmoose View Post
OK. Now, I can't critique your reasons. They're *yours* after all, not mine or anyone else's.

But one thing I notice is missing is the other side of the street. You talk mostly about how this path will benefit *you.* You don't talk much about how hopes and aspirations for serving the nation, or whatever branch you're considering. That is, the "service" aspect of your motivations. You may want to examine your motivations there and add the results of your introspections to your answers.

good luck.
^This... becoming an Officer is a life of service, service to your country, our military, and your enlisted personnel. I have been enlisted for 7 years and this Saturday I commission and will become a 2nd LT in the Marine Corps. My reason for leaving the enlisted ranks is that I felt I could do more for my enlisted brothers as an officer. Best of luck but I think Moose gave you some solid advice on how to best approach your situation.
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:18 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bjmoose View Post
OK. Now, I can't critique your reasons. They're *yours* after all, not mine or anyone else's.

But one thing I notice is missing is the other side of the street. You talk mostly about how this path will benefit *you.* You don't talk much about how hopes and aspirations for serving the nation, or whatever branch you're considering. That is, the "service" aspect of your motivations. You may want to examine your motivations there and add the results of your introspections to your answers.

good luck.
you are correct. there is more to it that just what will benefit me. after all they're gonna get their money's worth outta me . but in all seriousness the service part is what i imagine to be the most important aspect of the whole thing. i will have to think about that one for sure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Strautins View Post
^This... becoming an Officer is a life of service, service to your country, our military, and your enlisted personnel. I have been enlisted for 7 years and this Saturday I commission and will become a 2nd LT in the Marine Corps. My reason for leaving the enlisted ranks is that I felt I could do more for my enlisted brothers as an officer. Best of luck but I think Moose gave you some solid advice on how to best approach your situation.
that is great! i definitely understand that once you're an officer you are held to a much higher standard because you are also responsible for many others,not just yourself. from my take on the academies they are there to train leaders as well. i believe too i will be able to do more as an officer for my fellow airmen or whoever it is i am serving with. i believe it is necessary to be an officer in order to become a pilot. hope all goes well for you.
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:27 PM   #11
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Everyone has their own reasons. There's the "Want to be a part of something greater than myself; to protect the country that has raised me"
then there's the
"I need the money. I ran track in high school" and "I dig the uni's, bro!"

theyre all valid reasons, every person has their own reasons. As long as you're explanation is heartfelt nobody can say shit about YOUR reason.

I want to because of family history, and the whole "part of something greater" schpeel
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:00 PM   #12
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Good Luck

Op,
I think bjmoose and strautins both gave you really good advice for your interview. No branch wants to hear about what they are going to give you they already now that. Itís all about what you are bringing to that branch of service. So be real when it comes to your answers true heart felt answers. Good luck on your interview just remember to answer your questions with sir or maíam and sit straight up in your chair. Also donít just look at the person asking the question answer the question to the whole board. What that means is start to answer the question to whom ever asked the question but look at the other board members also. This show that you are not ignoring the other board members.

Strautins,

Congrats on receiving your commission just remember to never forget where you came from. You and I both know that some tend to forget that. Lead from the front and your marines will always follow your lead.
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:12 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by usnwarrior1 View Post
Op,
I think bjmoose and strautins both gave you really good advice for your interview. No branch wants to hear about what they are going to give you they already now that. Itís all about what you are bringing to that branch of service. So be real when it comes to your answers true heart felt answers. Good luck on your interview just remember to answer your questions with sir or maíam and sit straight up in your chair. Also donít just look at the person asking the question answer the question to the whole board. What that means is start to answer the question to whom ever asked the question but look at the other board members also. This show that you are not ignoring the other board members.

Strautins,

Congrats on receiving your commission just remember to never forget where you came from. You and I both know that some tend to forget that. Lead from the front and your marines will always follow your lead.
thanks for the reply. any advice helps and i am definitely going to think long and hard about what my true motives are.

goodnight guys! will check back tomorrow. now its time to get 5 hours of sleep! better than none haha
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Old 12-13-2012, 02:31 PM   #14
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I pursued my commission in the United States Army because I wanted to kill bad people and break their things, and lead others in the doing of such. Fuck "adventure" or "helping the world", grow long hair and hop European hostels if you want adventure and join the Coast Guard if you want to help people.

The qualities I look for in my Soldiers and subordinate leaders are discipline, aggression, self-sacrifice, and moral fortitude. The ability to do what is right when no one is looking. The desire to be the best. The fortitude to hold others to the standard, even when it is not popular. Refusal to lead any other way than from the front. Mental and physical resilience; remain calm under pressure.

If I were you, my answers would convey your ability to do the above.
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Old 12-17-2012, 01:36 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Strautins View Post
^This... becoming an Officer is a life of service, service to your country, our military, and your enlisted personnel. I have been enlisted for 7 years and this Saturday I commission and will become a 2nd LT in the Marine Corps. My reason for leaving the enlisted ranks is that I felt I could do more for my enlisted brothers as an officer. Best of luck but I think Moose gave you some solid advice on how to best approach your situation.
Ooooh Rah Mustang.
Congratulations on moving up. I recently met a friend of a friend who is a mustang in our Corps. Very cool guy. My CO in the stumps was a real prick and no way was he from the ranks. I normally have only the utmost respect for officers-my parents were 04/05-but not for major dickhead at MCCESS in 94.

To the OP...
no need to repeat the wisdom already shared. I will say that you may be flying a desk too. I would check out http://www.flyingsquadron.com/forums/ too.
Good luck on your interview.
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Old 12-17-2012, 02:22 PM   #16
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Thanks guys. My interview was Saturday and I think it went well.now I have to wait till January to find out if I get nominated to go to an academy. Then I have to wait till March/April to hear from Academies to see if I got in. My top choice is air force but I would be just as happy leading men as an officer in any other branch if everything works out.

I also want to say thanks to all of our vets on tw!
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